Kendall Grove: Why the Hate?

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CactusBob
3/25/08 12:07:09PM
This is the first topic I have stared, and I did a search to see if this was already addressed. If it was, I missed it, but I feel the need to bring a few things up, maybe get some informed opinions on this.

I am not a fan of Kendall Grove. He came across on TUF as a bit of a dumbass. Not just the team dagger thing, but in general, I don't believe he is as smart as the average bear. I feel he was overrated, and his win over Belcher really added to his hype. I think his hype peaked when I heard/read somewhere that he would give Silva problems. He had a bit of a following heading into his fight with Cote; it's amazing what two back-to-back KO losses will do to your popularity.

Now I'm reading more and more (even on this forum) that Kendall is a terrible fighter, or that he deserves a beating. I understand it is normal for a little backlash after a fall like that. We've all seen it before, and it happened to Grove twice. But people are calling him a bad fighter, to a point where it has literally forced me (in that my alternative right now is to study for a Psych exam) to write this thread.

After beating Belcher, Grove was riding quite a high. Belcher is no pushover, and Grove not only beat him, but actually finished him early. This TUF kid who barely squeeked a decision to win his contract was now ready for the upper echelon of the middleweight division. This entry would be done by giving to Grove another TUF fighter who was begining a rejuvination of his own career. I remember before Grove-Cote, people were saying that this is where Grove's chin would be tested. More accuratly, Grove's chin was nearly broken (I know the shot was more of a glancing blow), and he dropped to the canvas unable to defend himself from Cote's attack. Grove had suffered his first KO loss, something no fighter forgets. He came back bravely though, against another tough veteran looking to restart his career. I remember everyone saying Grove was going to beat Rivera, but if you followed Rivera in the early days of the UFC or saw his recap on TUF, you would know Rivera is no joke. This is a man who gave Franklin a hard time on the feet, only two other fighters can really claim that. I thought it extremely gutsy for Grove and all his inexperience to take on Rivera. The fight ended how I suspected it would, with Grove once again getting KO'd in brutal fasion. After this loss, everyone seemed to turn their back on Grove.

The reason I start this thread is to really question the accusations of Grove not being suited for UFC level competition, and that he deserves a beating. I know when a fighter is KO'd, he loses a significant fan-base, but people really seem to dislike Grove now. The fact is, Grove is a tough SOB. He may not be the brightest, but the man has heart. He has cardio for days, and his frame coupled with his speed gives anyone but the most skilled a hard time. He is a young fighter, who came off a show designed to build the skill-set of the competitors. Remember how Koscheck, or Florian looked when they came off the show? Now these guys are the elite in their respective divisions. I believe Grove has this potential and with time and the right camps, he could one day hold the belt (once Silva retires). Grove is solid on the ground, and strong on the feet, and while he may not have the chin to stand and bang like Cote or Leben, with a few more years he may Anderson Silva them and make them look foolish.

I am sure I am exaggerating the Grove bashing a bit, but the next time you are thinking to yourself "Grove deserves a beating", try to remember that he is only 25 years old, and will be around in the MW division for a long time to come.
prozacnation1978
3/25/08 12:17:17PM
i never really did like him to begin with, even when he was winning. i see him fighting in july against someone weak. but it will be really interesting to see who his next opponent is. maybe be thrown a bone like sanchez and bisping received for their next fight.
rabbit915
3/25/08 12:22:51PM
Ill admit that im one of the Grove bashers but ive never said he deserves a beating. The point of MMA is not to beat other guys up its to prove superiority. Bodily harm just happens to be something that tends to happen.

I dont like him because i didnt like the way he came off on TUF. He seemed cocky and not the most intelligent guy in the word. I happen to be notoriously impatient with stupidity in my own life. Its a fault but i cant help it.

Also most guys that come of TUF tend to be overated and placed higher on the card then they should because of name value. This has a tendency to build resentment if they dont back it up with multiple wins. Its not his fault but i cant help being angry that a fighter that i like who i think has worked harder than a TUF fighter is not being shown because he doesnt have the name value.

As for saying hes not at the UFC level, i would say hes on the borderline. If the MW divison had as much talent as some of their other divisions did, i would have to say that he isnt. But the MW divison is weak and he can still compete there. He has a very good ground game, and average stand up as well as a lanky frame that can be a great asset. However IMO his chin will hold him back from ever competing for a title.
ToeZup
3/25/08 1:40:02PM
I have no problem with Grove at all.
He just hasn't looked that good in his last 2 fights. He was showing so many signs of improvement. He was the sponge from TUF training with an ex champ. He really really needs to put on a good show for his next fight. Speaking publicly about smoking weed before fights doesn't help his cause at all either.

He just needs to straighten out, take mma seriously again and get back to his winning ways. I respect all fighters until they stop respecting themselves.
Kpro
3/25/08 1:58:21PM
He has the opportunity to develop into an upper echelon MW and appears to be doing everything exactly the right way with a good training camp, a hungry outlook towards the MW landscape, a good skill set, good reach, technical off the back.

But... I will pick against him if he is fighting anyone with 2 fists.

If he can't learn to take a hard punch, which isn't something you can practice, he will be relegated to a status below gatekeeper.

He needs to either get in close and pull guard against a standup fighter, or face a guy or two without solid submission defense.

If he doesn't take the proper time to get his confidence back up, I don't have a positive outlook on his success in the UFC now OR in the years to come.

Kpro
3/25/08 2:01:38PM
His game-plans remind me of the way Crunkilton went in against McCullough instead of playing to his strengths, and it ended the same way Grove did against Cote/Rivera.

He needs to get rid of any pride he thinks he has on the feet. Imposing your strength on your opponent is the name of the game, and his strength is not when he is anything resembling vertical.
bullettdodger
3/25/08 2:25:39PM
The kid just thinks he is better than he really is... Thats really it... only draw-back of that is he has no chin, which is just his fate... its not somthing you can teach, and its deffinitly not something you can learn, if he focuses on the aspects of his game that ARE solid, we might see some more Grove success....
tberg420
3/25/08 2:40:46PM
I still like Kendall but I think that he changed training camps and isn't with Tito anymore. Tito was in his corner against Belcher and that was his last great showing. I'm thinking that Kendall got too big for his britches and should go back to Tito.
Rush
3/25/08 3:15:39PM
Ok, I don't "hate" Kendall. However, I never liked the guy. He reminded me of one of those kids in high school (let's call him Kendall) that didn't say much until they start hanging out with a really obnoxious idiot (let's call him Tito) and then Kendall starts to stroll down that path.

Kendall has neither the personality nor the fighting style that excites me. Another thing that bothered me was that he appeared (to me) to act like he was some sort of superstar in MMA, after his first fight or so.

I think Kendall needs to grow up a little more. The way he has handled himself inside and outside the cage just screams immaturity, IMO. That being said, I think one of the things that describe his immaturity is that fact that his behaviour seems to reflect those around him. I think he needs to settle in with a fight camp where the fighters can instill some positive behaviour, otherwise I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't around before long.
MMA
3/25/08 3:20:01PM
I'm kind of disappointed because even though Grove doesn't have much of a chin, he still has an amazing reach advantage so he doesn't need to get into the danger zone in order to land shots. He's just really bad at using his reach and doesn't utilize his ground game enough. I guess Kendall will always have trouble with strong strikers that are willing to bang.
hotrodttt
3/25/08 4:43:18PM
I don't know why people think he is a terrible fighter, James Thompson has a weak chin too and he has a whole war wagon of people supporting him. He's a Great Fighter but his stand up skills need to develop and he needs to learn how to use his reach to take a shot. But there is no denying he has a great Ground Game.
wolfman
3/25/08 5:11:08PM

Posted by hotrodttt

I don't know why people think he is a terrible fighter, James Thompson has a weak chin too and he has a whole war wagon of people supporting him. He's a Great Fighter but his stand up skills need to develop and he needs to learn how to use his reach to take a shot. But there is no denying he has a great Ground Game.



Very true, he has a lot of potential. He just needs to make sure that he gets the fight to the mat somehow.
ncordless
3/25/08 5:21:14PM
I had seen Kendall fight before TUF. He always has had a very bad chin. I don't bash on him for it. I think he is one of the hardest workers in MMA. I do think it's funny though how after TUF and his next couple of wins people began to think he was going to be at the top of the division some day. The hype around him was way out of line. TUF 3 still stands out to me as a lowpoint in in quality of fighters for the show. Kendall is going to get KOed alot in his career, and it's going to keep him from the top. Not hating on him, it's just the way it is.
kevietre
3/25/08 6:19:50PM
Does Kendall really have a weak chin?

Cote and Rivera are two of the hardest hitters in the middleweight divison! Does that mean Mcfedries has a weak chin? NO ! Because he withstood punishment from Alessio Sakara at 205. Cote just has heavy hands and caught Kendall. Same thing with Rivera. Kendall doesn't have the best chin and he's coming off two losses ok. He's at a crossroads in his career. I agree he needs to take fighting more seriously and should get back with Tito again. He'll bounce back. He's been in there with Joe Riggs, Cote, Rivera, Belcher, and even Hector Ramirez. He's got a bright future ahead of him if he trains hard.
Kpro
3/25/08 6:25:08PM

Posted by kevietre

Does Kendall really have a weak chin?

Cote and Rivera are two of the hardest hitters in the middleweight divison! Does that mean Mcfedries has a weak chin? NO ! Because he withstood punishment from Alessio Sakara at 205. Cote just has heavy hands and caught Kendall. Same thing with Rivera. Kendall doesn't have the best chin and he's coming off two losses ok. He's at a crossroads in his career. I agree he needs to take fighting more seriously and should get back with Tito again. He'll bounce back. He's been in there with Joe Riggs, Cote, Rivera, Belcher, and even Hector Ramirez. He's got a bright future ahead of him if he trains hard.



The thing about a weak chin, is it doesn't matter as much if you can avoid the shots and use your reach.

He can't do either as of yet.
cowcatcher
3/25/08 6:33:57PM
the hate is because most(let me stress most, not all) mma fans are fairly new and havent followed any one fighter for more than 5 years so there is no real attatchment. this makes being a fairweather fan pretty easy and common in the growing mma fan community. a couple of losses in a row and guys that were swinging from kendalls beanbag are suddenly saying he was never that good. i try not to take any fan that acts likke this too seriously, ie the ones that say CC was overrated or that chuck beat a bunch of cans, because when those guys were winning every time out their nuts were a lot more crowded.
mrliquid
3/25/08 6:56:47PM
Well first it wasn't his first KO he was knocked out 3 times I believe before coming to the UFC once by Joe Riggs wich I thought was a fun fight to watch. I didnt like Kendall since I saw him on TUF but he got worse after the show when he got hooked up with Tito and started training with his camp he got a huge head on him and started thinking he was the shit, fighters talk shit before fights thats common but he would talk like theres noway he could be beat even though he was new to the UFC kinda reminded me of interviews with Tito that I used to watch when he first started out in the UFC so I don't think alot of people dont like him due to his chin or skill I think alot is just the attitude he has and the way he presents himself but thats just my opinion.
wolfman
3/25/08 9:15:02PM

Posted by cowcatcher

the hate is because most(let me stress most, not all) mma fans are fairly new and havent followed any one fighter for more than 5 years so there is no real attatchment. this makes being a fairweather fan pretty easy and common in the growing mma fan community. a couple of losses in a row and guys that were swinging from kendalls beanbag are suddenly saying he was never that good. i try not to take any fan that acts likke this too seriously, ie the ones that say CC was overrated or that chuck beat a bunch of cans, because when those guys were winning every time out their nuts were a lot more crowded.



Well said and funny at the same time. Props to you sir.

EDIT: Damn, love fairy got me...gotta spread the love.
ncordless
3/25/08 10:27:55PM

Posted by kevietre

Does Kendall really have a weak chin?

Cote and Rivera are two of the hardest hitters in the middleweight divison! Does that mean Mcfedries has a weak chin? NO ! Because he withstood punishment from Alessio Sakara at 205. Cote just has heavy hands and caught Kendall. Same thing with Rivera. Kendall doesn't have the best chin and he's coming off two losses ok. He's at a crossroads in his career. I agree he needs to take fighting more seriously and should get back with Tito again. He'll bounce back. He's been in there with Joe Riggs, Cote, Rivera, Belcher, and even Hector Ramirez. He's got a bright future ahead of him if he trains hard.



Every fighter you mentioned with the exception of Belcher has KOed him. Not only KOed, he has been knocked completely silly in each of those KO's.
candynuts
3/25/08 10:48:55PM
I dont mind him, but I just wanted Cote and Rivera to beat him. I gotta say that there was a helluva lot of hype attached to this guy (MUCH like Brandon Vera, if you fail to acknowledge Brandon Vera hype, I will gladly copy and paste threads).

Anyway, I still wouldnt mind to see him in the UFC though.
chubbud22
3/26/08 2:00:06AM

Posted by bullettdodger

The kid just thinks he is better than he really is... That's really it... only draw-back of that is he has no chin, which is just his fate... its not something you can teach, and its definitely not something you can learn, if he focuses on the aspects of his game that ARE solid, we might see some more Grove success....



I agree, and there is a fine line between being cocky and being confident; Grove got cocky after getting a couple of wins. He has been taken off his high horse and I think it will teach him a lesson and help him out in the long run.
NatedawgThaM
3/26/08 2:33:31AM
I don't think he has a very weak chin. Not great, but I don't think it's very weak.

Think about it, he was only KO'd against Cote who is a heavy hitter and makes you pay if you stand with him. Cote stunned and stopped Drew who can take a very good shot. Kendall just got caught in that fight. With Jorge, just totally bad gameplanning. He needs to not clinch or stand, he needs to takedown or pull guard. But Jorge didn't KO him. He hit him with about 10 solid hard shots, he was stunned, but not KO. So I don't think his chin is nearly as bad as people make it out to be.

But I do agree with Rush, he's gotten cocky hanging with Tito and ever since he believes he's a superstar and got to cocky, forgot he's not a stand up fighter and hopefully he got humbled in these last two fights. I also agree with Kpro that it's bad gameplanning too. If he's going to stand he needs to use that long reach and jab to keep the distance until he finds a way to take the fight to the ground. He should also never clinch unless he's not facing a man with a KO win under his belt. That screams a knee or uppercut when he does that.

But I do see a positive future ahead of him. Hopefully I think he got humbled and learned not to stand with people unless he's going to Jab AND counter punch with great agility. But his main priority should be to takedown the striker since his ground game is great and then GNP them out or sub them, or if that don't work, pull guard and use those long legs like Anderson Silva the other Spider to take your opponents back or transition, because long legs in grappling helps you have excellent transitions.
loller90278
3/26/08 3:31:59AM
for me :

1. hes openly stated he was high for his first MMA matches.
2. He is very cocky and shows no skill to back it up
3. that stupid tito ortiz finisher digging move


mods: if this is fighter bashing, go ahead and delete my post
hippysmacker
3/26/08 8:57:24AM

Posted by cowcatcher

the hate is because most(let me stress most, not all) mma fans are fairly new and havent followed any one fighter for more than 5 years so there is no real attatchment. this makes being a fairweather fan pretty easy and common in the growing mma fan community. a couple of losses in a row and guys that were swinging from kendalls beanbag are suddenly saying he was never that good. i try not to take any fan that acts likke this too seriously, ie the ones that say CC was overrated or that chuck beat a bunch of cans, because when those guys were winning every time out their nuts were a lot more crowded.



I agree that is part of it. Another thing I have observed is a lot of new fans who got into MMA watching TUF 3 were proclaiming him the next champ. That in turn ticked off people who have been watching MMA for awhile, and they then jumped all over him, to smack down the new fans when he started losing. The same thing happened to Diego Sanchez IMO. Personally I still think Sanchez might be a champ some day. I fear Groves chin is not something that can fixed so easily, and he will never be a top guy because of it.
Franklinfan47
3/26/08 9:25:11AM
I don't mind Kendall, despite what he did on the show (even though what he did to Rory Singer was a pretty dick move on his part, even though I don't really like Rory either).

To me, its not so much hate for Kendall as it is disapointment. He was a good prospect coming off of tuf 3, so its a shame to see him get knocked out twice like he did. I mean one more loss and he's gone from the ufc, atleast for a while.
disturbed_fighter
3/26/08 9:56:57AM
the reason i think really has a hard time is that wen he is fighting he will try to grapple on the ground and get punched. hes not transitioning that well to that part of the game i dont think
tylerlee123
3/26/08 10:59:09AM
When I seen Grove Destroy Belcher the way he did I thought for sure that he'd be a force but then he got KO'd by Cote and Rivera, I think he will bounce back form these tough losses with a real good win here soon
Rush
3/26/08 11:46:47AM

Posted by hippysmacker

I agree that is part of it. Another thing I have observed is a lot of new fans who got into MMA watching TUF 3 were proclaiming him the next champ. That in turn ticked off people who have been watching MMA for awhile, and they then jumped all over him, to smack down the new fans when he started losing.




Well, I jumped all over Grove even when he was winning. lol, but yeah, I agree. This is an interesting perspective and quite true. Sometimes people get after a fighter just to spite fans that annoy them.



Just something else I want to add to this thread. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you do not have to like a fighter just because he does well and you don't have to dislike a fighter because he doesn't do well.
F--K_Luck_AuH2O
3/26/08 9:31:09PM
For the record I would buy a PPV just to watch Marvin Eastman vs. Kendall Grove.
Pyrenus
3/27/08 3:53:20PM
He was exposed for not being able to take a punch. He's fun to watch as long as he isn't getting hit. But as soon as something lands; chin, head, above the ear, whatever; he goes down.
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